MOUNT VERNON — Savings will be coming to county employees opting for over-the-counter medicines through the county’s insurance plan, Jonette Curry informed the Board of Commissioners, Monday. Curry, who oversees the county’s insurance program, said a six-month review of benefits found that an option can be exercised for employees to take OTC versions of prescription medicines. This will bring savings to the employees and the county.
Curry used a popular brand-name medicine as an example. A 30-day dosage of the medicine costs employees a $36 co-pay, with the county program picking up the remaining $150-plus cost. Purchasing an OTC version of the medicine will cost so much less, that the county’s program will pick up the entire $25 cost, leaving employees with no co-pay at all.
The OTC option will not be mandatory, Curry said, allowing those who prefer to stay with name brands to continue getting it filled with the branded medicine. The new option will be effective starting on Sept. 1.
In other business, the commissioners held a public hearing regarding vacating an unnamed alley running between Kentucky Avenue and Pittsburgh Avenue, east of Broadway Street. No members of the public appeared to protest the vacating of the alleyway, and Clinton Township Trustee Gene Phillips said the Clinton trustees were in 100 percent agreement with the commissioners to vacate it.
Knox Job & Family Services director Roger Shooter informed the commissioners that the new state budget is slated to be delivered later this week. This will give Shooter a better idea of what lies ahead for the department, which he said has been making cuts since November. Although he expects more cuts are likely, Shooter hopes the proactive stance his department has taken will avoid the need for sudden, drastic cuts. He noted that Licking County is planning 12 furlough days for employees between now and the end of the financial year, June 30, 2010.
Shooter also showed the commissioners statistics about the usage of the Opportunity Knox Employment Center. So far this year, 7,886 people have used the resource room for job hunting; only 1,011 of them are receiving unemployment compensation. An average of 121 people have used the building daily overall.